More than 700 homes at the former High Street estate have been demolished. Only a handful remain. Credit: via Google Earth

Salford’s Pendleton stand-off nears conclusion 

The city council plans to use compulsory purchase powers to acquire the last occupied property on the former High Street estate to pave the way for the construction of a new leisure centre. 

Salford City Council believes it has a “compelling case” for the use of compulsory purchase powers to take control of 14 Holcombe Close, owned by Demonique Wilson. 

According to Land Registry records, Wilson bought the property in 2005. A few years later, Salford City Council pulled the trigger on a regeneration strategy that saw vast swathes of the High Street estate razed. 

Around 740 homes that made up the estate have been demolished since 2009. 

However, Wilson has refused to sell his home to the city council, and the two parties have been engaged in a stand-off for several years. 

Wilson’s property is one of six original houses still standing on the High Street estate and the only one that is still occupied. 

The city council wants to demolish the house, along with the five adjoining vacant properties that make up the terrace, as part of the ongoing regeneration of the 1970s estate. 

In a report to the authority’s property and regeneration committee, Salford said it had “taken considerable steps to reach an agreement for the acquisition of 14 Holcombe Close”. 

However, having been unsuccessful, the use of compulsory purchase powers seems like the most likely outcome. 

Next week, the authority will decide whether to go ahead with the CPO. 

If the city council is successful in taking ownership of the Holcombe Close property, it will be able to move ahead with its plans for a £16.5m leisure centre to replace the Clarendon Recreation Centre. 

The existing centre is 42 years old and has reached the end of its lifespan, according to the council. 

“Pendleton Community Activity and Health Hub…will make a very positive contribution to the achievement of the promotion or improvement of the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area,” a report to the property and regeneration committee said. 

Last April, contractor Willmott Dixon was appointed to provide pre-contract professional services for the scheme, while architect GT3 is designing the facility. 

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Are they still planning on replacing tonnes of green space with housing?

By Anonymous

One individual holding an entire community to ransom. CPO them and get it done.

By Anonymous

Reportedly the homeowner says that the council valued this three-bedroom house at £95,000. If that’s true, I’d be stubborn too. A three bed home in Salford could easily be worth double that figure or more.

I wonder how much council time and professional fees have been spent over years of disagreement – instead of giving it to the displaced owner

By W

Salford is what happens when you allow too much redevelopment. The whole city is an ugly mess. So many beautiful grand old buildings drowned out by waste land or worse 70s concrete eyesores. I can’t imagine how nice it all would have been before the 60s.

By AR86

The council are obliged to offer market value no more and no less. Market value is determined by professional surveyors and in the case of disagreement it goes to an independent third party valuer.

It appears that the owner thinks they can hold the public purse to ransom here. Ultimately the CPO Inquiry will settle this costing both side additional legal fees and the value will likely reflect what they’ve already been offered. What a waste to time and money!

By Anonymous

AR86…other than the crescent and around the cathedral where? I mean where are these beautiful old buildings?

By Anonymous

its disgusting how the council think they can bully people into giving up their home for pittance for them not to be able to afford to buy another home ending up out of pocket, not sure who all the regeneration is for and who’s life it makes better.

By Anonymous

The owner has turned the house into an absolute eyesore. It’s been painted pink and white on the outside and just has building site fence panels securing the back. He put it on the market within the last few years and the pictures on the sale site made it look so unloved and grotty inside. You’d think they’d be glad to get away!

By Kal

The houses being built opposite clarenden centre are going for £200,000

By Anonymous

Mr. Wilson needs to get a grip and move on for the good of the community! Pendleton should be earmarked by the government as an easy win location for them with regards to their ‘Levelling Up’ scheme – so much potential there

By Salfordian

This guy should be able to live in peace within his own home and not be bullied into giving it up, he’s paid and bought his house and ut belongs to him, what’s the point in buying a house if it can be taken off you by bullies at any point just so they can make big profits out of unaffordable homes, knock the other houses down and build around him, it’s his home and he should be able to stay where he is, end of. Leave the guy alone.

By Stuart Potts

I think that they should pay enough to be a 3 bedroom property in the same area. What could be fairer? Also, as a vastly dominated Labour council, are they punishing tenants who took advantage of Thatcher’s right to buy scheme? Something vehemently opposed both then and now by Labour.

By David.

I can’t believe the council has the power to force someone from their own home. How is this allowed!! All those saying Mr Wilson should leave for the good of the community wouldn’t like it if it was them being forced out. Also the council doesn’t care about the community, they just want to make money

By Anonymous

Time he was moved on to somewhere more suitable. It really does look awful there now and needs to developed properly in line with rest of the area. It’s good that it’s a Labour council doing the developing. You could imagine the outcry if this was down the road under Trafford.

By Anonymous

Compulsory Purchase is a long and well established process and can only be used when it can be demonstrated that the public good exceeds the individual loss / disruption. It should be clear as day that a comprehensive redevelopment of this area will benefit the area massively. The idea that the council makes money out of it is plainly nonsense, these things are costly and take a long time to put together. The fact that one individual is holding the whole scheme up and holding the tax payer and the rest of the community to ransom is outrageous. Nobody will be left homeless, everyone gets fair market value for their properties and additional assistance to relocate into an equivalent home. No one is left worse off. This is an attempt at cynical profiteering on behalf of the property owner.

So all power to the council on this occasion – get them CPOd and let’s move the scheme forward.

By Anonymous

To be fair to AR86, Worsley (including the potential UNESCO site) and the surrounding areas are part of Salford. I don’t think they were talking about those bits though.

Either way Salford is much more well endowed than people think and is also classed as the greenest place to live in the UK.

What they are doing to this site in this article is pretty shocking though – they’re building on a park!

By Anonymous

Walkden and especially Eccles also have some nice buildings, it’s just the scumbags and lack of investment that bring them down. Doubt that will be for long though, Eccles has some of the biggest potential in the NW region.

By Anonymous

The area looks a mess because Salford Council let the area get this bad instead of investing in the area they made it an eyesore and the owner of the property shud not give in to thieving Salford Council till they pay the man the amount he wants he’s property bet the houses there going to build there and profit off will not be anywhere near the price they expect him to accept

By Anonymous

Mr Wilson and his wife and kids is really a nice guy with a good job as a doctor. He has got rights. He has rights to get the best price for his house.

By Darren Born and Bred.

The counccil could use the adjacent land and the all weather pitch to begin the build of the new leisure centre. So why would they want to build this opposite the precinct and further add to the congestion?

By Anonymous

The council is offering 95k which is well below value. The absolute cheapest 3 bedroom property in Salford is currently going for 125k. This is someone’s home!! Just give them a fair price and compensation for the hassle to uproot their life.

By Anonymous

£95k is market value – it has to be , the council cannot offer any more or any less than market value.

It’s irrelevant whether equivalent new build properties in other areas are selling for more, the bottom line is that the home owner wouldn’t get any more than what the council is offering if they put it on the market, even prior the the rest of the buildings being cleared.

With all these schemes, there is always assistance for the home owner to buy a more expensive property of the same size via an equity loan meaning the owner is no better or worse off than they would have been if they hadn’t had to move.

What is completely unacceptable is for someone trying to make a profit out of the process and hold the tax payer to ransom.

By Anonymous

I consider this matter concerning Mr Wison extremely sad because the council should be more understanding of the situation. If that is difficult to get, why does not the council use the money to buy a three-bedroom house in the area and give it to the Mr Wilson family in exchange?

It would solve the problem! or the council could also find a three-bedroom house in Salford and offer it to the family. I guess that would make more sense than just offering them that amount of money (£95,000) which in fairness is impossible nowadays to buy even a two-bedroom house in the area.

The expectation is that the council will reconsider the situation for the benefit of everyone.

By Tatalo

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